Published: Tue, March 27, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Facebook Has 99 Problems and the FTC Is One

Facebook Has 99 Problems and the FTC Is One

A 3D-printed Facebook logo are seen in front of displayed binary digits in this illustration taken, March 18, 2018.

New Hampshire's Attorney General is joining 37 other states in requesting more information from Facebook about how it handles its users' data.

Report of this FTC investigation included questions of "recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook". There are over 1.2 billion Facebook Messenger users as of 2017. "With the information we have now, our trust has been broken".

This isn't the first time that Facebook has been accused of less-than-stellar privacy practices.

Facebook's stock, which already took a big hit last week, plunged as a result. According to CNN, the FTC has launched a "non-public investigation" in an effort to learn more about their current privacy practices. Facebook reached a settlement with the FTC in 2011 offering privacy assurances, though the FTC's probe may extend to Facebook's compliance with U.S. -EU principles for transferring data.

"The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers", Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.

Senators have called for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before a congressional committee.

"We have a responsibility to protect your information", Zuckerberg said.

- Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's servers.

- Germany's Justice Minister Katarina Barley says she wants closer oversight of companies such as Facebook, following a meeting with executives about the abuse of users' private data. He also said sorry in full-page advertisements in British and United States newspapers.

The officers say in a letter Monday to CEO Mark Zuckerberg that users' trust in the social media platform is "broken". "If we can't we don't deserve it", Zuckerberg said in the ads.

A public apology by Zuckerberg has failed to quell outrage over the hijacking of personal data. "But promises aren't enough".

Facebook does ask for permissions to access phone contact data as a way to surface new friend recommendations under "People You May Know" and assist with an algorithm that helps power meaningful connections. But that data in some cases is also used to better market advertising.

U.S. auto parts retailer Pep Boys suspended all advertising on Facebook on Monday while wireless speaker maker Sonos said in a blog post it will remove advertising from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Alphabet's YouTube for one week.

With the recent fall, Facebook now trades on a 2019 price-earnings ratio of 18.2x, which is at the lower end of its six-year range.

Fewer than half of Americans trust Facebook to obey US privacy laws, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday, while a survey published by Bild am Sonntag, Germany's largest-selling Sunday paper, found 60 percent of Germans fear that Facebook and other social networks are having a negative impact on democracy.

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